By Kelvin Kamayoyo, Zambian Economist, Scholar and BuyZed Chief Technical Advisor
BuyZed Campain has prioritised women and girls in the fight against the adverse effects of climate change because they are the most people at high risk and bear the most brunt of climate crisis. Indisputably, the climate crisis is not gender neutral and as such women and girls experience the greatest impacts of climate change events and suffer unfair exclusion from access to economic opportunities. BuyZed Campaign has taken an earnesty observation that women and girls are often at high risk of adverse effects of climate change because climate crisis is a threat multiplier. Thus, climate change occurrences does escalate unforeseen social and political tensions and induce undetermined economic disruptions.
Therefore, women and girls in our society equally need to be supported and empowered even more because, for example, expanding their access to productive resources can increase agricultural production and food security and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Women play an important role in promoting sustainable development and have a critical stake in protecting the environment. As BuyZed Campaign, we commit to supporting the women and girls both in urban and rural areas in order to effectivey mitigate the adverse impact of climate change events through empowering them with knowledge about climate change, responsibilities and climate smart actions, and equipping them with appropriate skills for entrepreneurship towards inclusive and active participation in the economic arena. We need to educate the people about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially “SDG 13: Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and its Impacts” because the fight against climate change requires strong concert efforts involving everyone on earth.
BuyZed wishes to send a congratory message to all the Women in Zambia and across the globe on this special Day that is being celebrated under the theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” The Day is undoutedly special to the whole World and we wish to say it calls for embracing “innovation, progressive partnerships and real transformation” for growth, sustainability and gender equality towards a better shared future for all. This Day also reminds us of why Women are at the heart of climate change action as we remember the renowned mother of climate change, Ms. Eunice Newton Foote who came up with the “Theory of the effect of carbon dioxide gas on atmospheric temperature” in the 1880s in Lenox, Massachusetts, United States. Once again, we do hereby give meritorious recognition to Women for their continued innovative efforts and call for stronger partnerships in combating climate change at all levels and across the globe.
However, it is unfortunate that today women and girls continue to experience the greatest adverse impacts of climate change, which amplifies the existing gender inequalities and pose threat to their health, livelihoods and safety. For instance, Women and girls from Bangladesh, Kenya, South Sudan, Chad, Somalia, Congo DR, Mali, Madagascar, Estonia, Libya, Zambia and Costa Rica, inter alia, continue to be excluded and somewhat disadvantaged from active participation and enjoyment in the economic arena due to involuntary adverse effects of climate change.
It is therefore more compelling to adopt a behavioural concept of “leave no one behind” so that real and practical attention is accorded to the women in order to reduce their exposure to climate change adverse effects and limit their vulnerability. Conversely, to be left behind is undesirable because it can disadvantage women and girls especially given the unprecedented climate crisis. Being left behind is a systematic process by which some groups or individuals are excluded or disadvantaged based on their sexual orientation, religion, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, HIV status, migrant or political affiliation (GSDRC, 2015). Therefore, Women and girls need more support because climate change is a threat multiplier and we will endeavour to support Women efforts by engaging into partnerships with national and international strategic partners for sustainable development and environmental protection.